Congratulations on growing a bundle of joy! Now it’s time to think about nourishment for you and your baby. Enter: prenatal vitamins. Here’s what you need to know and where to shop for prenatal vitamins in Hong Kong.
It’s an exciting time when you decide to start on the journey of having a baby – whether planned or not! From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, or from when you decided to start trying, your mind will no doubt wander to think about what you need to do to prep for being a mama. Most probably, prenatal vitamins will make their way to the top of your baby-planning checklist, but where can you get them in Hong Kong? Doctors, shops or online stores? read on to find out.
Featured Prenatal Vitamins In Hong Kong
Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI) — Prenatal vitamins and naturopathic advice
IMI is the largest integrated health clinic in Hong Kong, and for thirty years, they’ve been supporting women on their journey through pregnancy and beyond. Its practitioners have sought out the best pregnancy supplements from around the world, featuring essential nutrients (like active folate- which is superior to folic acid) in easily absorbable forms. You can get your premium prenatal vitamins via IMI Supplements Online, but for a closer look at your specific health needs, speak to a naturopath, who can tailor your supplements. There’s also the option for a free, 15-minute consultation with a health expert if you just need a few pointers.
Use discount code “SassyMamaHK” and enjoy $100 off your prenatal vitamins from IMI Supplements Online. Minimum purchase $1,000, offer can only be used once and is valid until 30, April 2023.
What Are Prenatal Vitamins?
While we might be eating the best diet that we can, prenatal vitamins will give you and your growing baby an extra dose of support throughout the nine months and beyond. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) comments that by eating healthy foods and taking a prenatal vitamin every day, you should get all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
Though, while it’s a magical time, it can be quite a steep learning curve when you first start looking into pregnancy, vitamins and diet. According to the Government’s Department of Health Family Help Service, women should consider the following nutritional needs as the body changes during pregnancy:
1st trimester (the first 13 weeks)
Demand for folate, vitamin A and iodine increases.
2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy (weeks 14 to 40)
The requirement for energy and protein increases for the growing baby. Apart from folate, vitamin A and iodine, there is a higher demand for iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, plus a mild increase in calcium requirements.
Prenatal Vitamins And Breastfeeding
While breastfeeding, the body needs approximately an extra 500 calories a day; including a sufficient intake of protein, folate, iodine, zinc, vitamin A and DHA, to ensure an adequate level of nutrients in your breastmilk.
This is a very top-level guide as to what you will need to nourish your body prior to conception (for example, it’s recommended that you start taking folic acid at least a month before conception, while some recommend taking a full prenatal vitamin even three months prior!), and not all mamas might be able to take some of the recommended items, so always make sure to consult your doctor before starting to take supplements. Once pregnant, a simple blood test can also highlight any other vitamins that your body might need to accompany a healthy balanced diet (this mama was vitamin D deficient and didn’t even realise!).
Where To Get Prenatal Vitamins In Hong Kong
It can be tricky to find a good range of prenatal vitamins, but there are some places in the city along with a range of online options that deliver to your door.
Prenatal Vitamins At The Doctor’s surgery
Whether you are going down the public or private route, your antenatal care team should be able to prescribe the prenatal vitamins that you might need:
Prenatal vitamins in the public system
Antenatal appointments in the public system are usually by your district catchment area and are free for Hong Kong ID holders, but you may have to pay for vitamin prescriptions.
Private prenatal vitamin options
While there are numerous options, here are just a few you can choose from:
Note that if you’re using maternity insurance to go private, your package mostly probably won’t cover vitamin supplement prescriptions (even the all-singing, all-dancing insurance packages) so always check with your provider first.
Prenatal Vitamins In Hong Kong Stores
Mannings – Elevit pregnancy vitamins, Materna 23 prenatal vitamins, GNC Hong Kong products and more
Here you’ll find a selection of options from GNC for pregnancy and beyond (see here). The Prenatal Program includes 30 days of everything you might need; prenatal multi-vitamins and minerals, calcium and DHA combined (suitable for prenatal and postnatal use). You can also purchase each separately as well.
So you might opt for a prenatal multivitamin and top it up with DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that helps to grow healthy brains, skin and eyes) if you’d like. You can also get baby DHA drops as a supplement for children aged 6 months or above (there’s even a vegetarian version!).
One other useful item to look out for babies (over the age of 1) is vitamin D3 drops, as they will help your baby continue to absorb calcium after birth, supporting the growth of teeth and bones.
Watsons – Elevit, Materna 23 Vitamins, Nestle and more
Watsons carries a range of different brands, from the lesser-known local variety to bigger names. If you’re trying to conceive, Blackmores Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Gold capsules have all the essentials for mama and baby including folic acid, calcium, iodine, iron and omega-3 DHA, they also have individual Blackmores Folic Acid as well.
Another recognised name for prenatal multivitamins is Materna. You can try its Materna 23 Vitamins & Minerals, 100 tablets. Or try the Mom Vitamin & Mineral with DHA from Nestle. For a prenatal probiotic, it stocks Elevit Probiotics, ideal to support mama and baby throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
oGreen – Local Hong Kong vitamin store
This store has a small selection of prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA on its website, but it also has stock in the Mong Kok and Causeway Bay stores.
oGreen, Room 1703, 17/F, Omega Plaza, 32 Dundas Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, 2780 1182
Fanda – Prenatal vitamins and perfume in one place
Fanda is a great local favourite for health care products, over the counter medicine, prescriptions, vitamins and supplements, perfumes and more. With stores over in TST and Central, ask the helpful staff to point you in the right direction for what you need.
GNC Live Well – US vitamin store in Hong Kong
Socking a huge range of supplements and vitamins across the board, you’ll find some regular prenatal products here (similar to Mannings) in the women’s health section.
Prenatal Vitamins Online With Delivery To Hong Kong
For a wider range of prenatal vitamins, the internet is your friend. You can order directly from these sites, which all deliver to Hong Kong:
The Store Hong Kong (includes same-day delivery on Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the New Territories)
Vitabiotics (The UK most recommended prenatal vitamins for mum and dad, Pregnacare. Delivery to Hong Kong is fast and low cost, around $60, and there are usually special offers of buy two get one free.)
With so many options to choose from, make sure you do your research before you start taking any prenatal vitamins. Consult your doctor to make sure the supplements won’t cause an issue with existing medication or conditions, and check the product labels to find one with ingredients you’re happy with.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in November 2020 by Alex Purcell Garcia and updated in March 2022.